Is $30 an Hour Good in Canada 2024? Beyond the Numbers


Determining whether $30 an hour is a good wage in Canada depends on various factors such as the cost of living, industry, education level, and location. In some cities, $30 an hour may be considered an above-average salary, while in others, it may not be enough to cover basic expenses.

Here, we’ll get into these factors to give you a understanding of what a $ 30-an-hour wage means in Canada.

Cost of Living in Canada

Before we can answer whether $30 an hour is good in Canada, we need to look at the cost of living. The cost of living varies from city to city and province to province.

Food and Groceries

Food and Groceries

According to Numbeo, the average cost for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Canada is around 22.80 CAD. For a family of four, the estimated monthly cost for food and groceries is approximately 3,506.9 USD (4,868.7 CAD) without rent.

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: 22.80 CAD
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course: 90.11 CAD
  • McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal): 13.00 CAD

Housing and Utilities

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 1,729.28 CAD. Utilities like electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for a 915 sq ft apartment cost around 206.32 CAD per month.

  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: 1,729.28 CAD
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: 1,487.84 CAD
  • Basic Utilities for 915 sq ft Apartment: 206.32 CAD

The High-Cost Cities

Vancouver-Canada-Costs (1)

Cost of living in Vancouver is considerably higher than in other cities with an average monthly rent of around $2000 for a one-bedroom apartment. This means, if you’re earning $30 an hour, you’d need to work 70 hours a week just to cover rent and basic necessities.

  • Rent: $2000
  • Utilities: $150
  • Transportation: $100
  • Groceries: $300

The Low-Cost Cities

Winnipeg City, Canada, Low-Cost City

On the flip side, if you live in a more affordable city like Quebec City or Winnipeg, a wage of $30 an hour offers a comfortable living standard. In these cities, you can cover your basic expenses and still have money left over for savings or leisure activities.

  • Rent: $1000
  • Utilities: $100
  • Transportation: $50
  • Groceries: $200

What Types of Jobs Typically Pay $30 an Hour in Canada?

In Canada, several types of jobs offer a pay rate of $30 an hour. These jobs usually require specific skills, education, and experience.

Skilled Trades

Jobs like electricians, plumbers, and carpenters typically pay around $30 an hour. These professionals have a high level of technical knowledge and complete rigorous training.

Healthcare Jobs

According to Talent.com, nursing jobs often pay around $30 an hour. Nurses provide direct care to patients, administer medication, and monitor vital signs.

Tech Jobs

Lastly, jobs in the technology sector such as software developers and IT support professionals often offer a pay rate of $30 an hour or higher. Companies pay a premium for skilled professionals in this field.

Annual Earnings for a $30 an Hour Wage in Canada

If you’re considering a job that pays $30 an hour in Canada, it’s essential to understand what that translates to on an annual basis. Working full-time at 40 hours per week, you can expect the following:

  • Hourly Wage: $30
  • Weekly Earnings: $1,200 (40 hours x $30)
  • Monthly Earnings: $4,800 (4 weeks x $1,200)
  • Annual Earnings: $62,400 (52 weeks x $1,200)
Time Frame Earnings
Hourly $30
Weekly $1,200
Monthly $4,800
Annually $62,400

It’s crucial to note that these figures are gross earnings, meaning they are before any deductions such as taxes, healthcare, and retirement contributions. Therefore, your net take-home pay will be less than the amounts listed above. This calculation provides a basic framework for understanding your potential earnings but doesn’t account for additional factors like overtime, bonuses, or other forms of extra income.

Tax Implications

  • Federal Tax: As stated by Canada.ca, the federal tax rate for income between $48,535 and $97,069 is 20.5%.
  • Provincial Tax: This varies by province but can add an additional 5% to 15% to your tax bill.

Can Someone Live Comfortably on That Wage?

Above the Median Wage

According to Statistics Canada, the median hourly wage for Canadians in 2020 was $25.00. So, if you’re earning $30 an hour, you’re above average. Especially in small or remote towns, this wage could provide a comfortable life.

High-Cost Cities

However, in cities like Toronto or Vancouver, this wage might not be enough for a high standard of living. In these cities, the cost of housing, transportation, and food are significantly higher.

Is It Above or Below the Average Wage in Canada?

Around the Average Wage

The average hourly wage for all employees in Canada was $30.03 as of January 2021. So, a wage of $30 an hour is around the average wage in Canada.

Varying Costs

However, the cost of living varies greatly across the country. In cities like Vancouver or Toronto, a $30 an hour wage may not afford the same lifestyle as it would in other parts of the country.

How Does It Compare to The Minimum Wage in Different  Provinces? 

Wages in Canada

Significantly Higher than Minimum Wage

A $30 an hour wage is much higher than the current minimum wage in most Canadian provinces. For example, according to the Government of Canada, the federal minimum wage is $15 per hour.

Provinces with Higher Minimum Wages

In provinces like Ontario and Alberta, the minimum wage is higher. However, a $30 an hour wage is still a decent income, especially considering the cost of living in these regions.

How Does Affect Your Lifestyle Choices? 

Your lifestyle choices, such as the type of housing you choose, your mode of transportation, and even your social activities, are significantly influenced by your income. A $30 an hour wage can have varying impacts on your lifestyle depending on where you live in Canada.

Housing Choices

Toronto Rental - Apartments

According to Zumper, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto is around $2,300 per month. If you’re earning $30 an hour, you might find it challenging to afford such a place while also covering other expenses. On the other hand, in cities like Halifax, you could afford a two-bedroom apartment and still have room in your budget for other things.

  • Toronto: Two-bedroom apartment – $2,300
  • Halifax: Two-bedroom apartment – $1,300

Social and Leisure Activities

Active Social Life

Your ability to engage in social and leisure activities also depends on your wage. In cities with a higher cost of living, you might have to limit your outings, vacations, or even your dining options. However, in smaller cities, you could enjoy a more active social life and even save for vacations.

  • Dining out: $50-$100 per outing
  • Movies: $15 per ticket
  • Vacations: $1,000-$3,000 per year

How Does Impact Your Savings and Investments?

Savings and investments are crucial for financial security. A $30 an hour wage can either be a boon or a bane for your savings and investments, depending on various factors like your expenses and lifestyle.


Savings in Canada

According to a report by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the average Canadian saves about 4.6% of their income. If you’re earning $30 an hour, your ability to save will depend on your fixed and variable expenses. In cities with a higher cost of living, you might find it difficult to save a significant amount.

  • Fixed Expenses: Rent, utilities, and transportation
  • Variable Expenses: Food, entertainment, and shopping


Investing is a great way to grow your wealth over time. However, the amount you can invest is directly related to your disposable income. In smaller cities where the cost of living is lower, you might be able to invest more aggressively.

  • Stock Market: Minimum $1,000 to start
  • Retirement Funds: 10-15% of income
  • Real Estate: Significant initial investment

How Does a Compare to Freelancing or Self-Employment? 

Freelancing or self-employment is an alternative to traditional employment. It’s essential to compare the stability and benefits of a $30 an hour wage to the flexibility of freelancing.

Stability vs Flexibility

Freelancers value their flexibility but often earn varying incomes. If you’re earning $30 an hour in a stable job, you might find it more financially secure than freelancing, where income can be unpredictable.

Benefits and Taxes

One significant advantage of traditional employment is the benefits package, which often includes healthcare, retirement plans, and paid vacations. Freelancers have to manage these expenses themselves, which can be challenging if your freelance income is equivalent to $30 an hour.


What about taxes? How much will I take home if I earn $30 an hour?

The amount you’ll take home will depend on various factors like your province of residence, deductions, and tax credits. Generally, you can expect about 20-25% of your income to go towards taxes.

Can I support a family on a $30 an hour wage in Canada?

Supporting a family on a $30 an hour wage can be challenging, especially in high-cost cities. However, in smaller towns, it’s more feasible if you budget carefully.

How does a $30 an hour wage compare to annual salary?

A $30 an hour wage translates to $60,000 per year before taxes, assuming a standard 40-hour workweek and 50 weeks of work per year.

Is $30 an hour considered skilled labor in Canada?

In Canada, $30 an hour is often considered skilled labor, especially in fields like healthcare, technology, and skilled trades.

What about benefits like healthcare and retirement plans?

Employer-provided benefits can significantly impact the overall value of a $30 an hour wage. Always consider these when evaluating a job offer.


A $30 an hour wage in Canada can offer a range of lifestyle options, but it’s crucial to consider the complete picture, including location, expenses, and long-term financial goals. Whether you’re in traditional employment or freelancing, understanding the nuances can help you make informed decisions for a secure future.

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